E-M1 RAW Files noise processing advice

theanser

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Dear all,

Is it me that I feel that the noise control of em1 is actually a stop lower compared to em5? I found that while shooting RAW in EM1 it is quite noisy with a degree of color noise too (colorful pixels). Would it be better off shooting with sharpness settings to -2 and to process the RAW files on Olympus Viewer rather than Lightroom?

Here is an example
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Its noticeable mostly for indoor shooting when at high ISO but I found that this issue surfaces even at ISO 1600 - 3200
Hope for some advices.

Thanks !
 

tomO2013

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Hmmm.... that goes against what I've found and most reviewers have found.
EM1 in high ISO has about a stop advantage at ISO6400 over EM5. ISO3200 on EM5 generally looks like ISO6400 on EM1.
Even looking at dpreviews comparisons.
At higher ISO's you will always get some colour noise - irrespective of camera brand and manufacturer. I just use the colour noise slider and I'm generally done. Lightrooms demosaicing and noise reduction algorithms are pretty good and usually smart enough that you don't lose too much detail doing this. Where you do end up losing detail is if you crank up the luminance slider too much and get water colour effects.
 

Reflector

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Enable chroma NR (Color NR) and bump it up until you clean up all the color noise (Usually less than 25). It generally doesn't hurt your details too much in ACR and since Lightroom uses the same engine it should handle it fine.
 

mcasan

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IF LR's noise reduction is not enough, I use Nik Dfine. You can get it as a standalone product or as part of the Nik Collection of plugins (highly recommended).
 

barry13

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The current version of Oly Viewer is able to match the camera's noise reduction/removal.

However I was not happy with the auto white balance in Viewer; RawTherapee seems much better.

Barry
 

Mr Hahn

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I've been experimenting with Lightroom 5 and here's how I've been handling the noise and sharpening adjustments of my E-M1 RAW files:

Starting with an example image where I used the following exposure settings: iso 3200 12mm f2.8 and 20sec

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Sharpen1.jpg by NathanHahn, on Flickr


I first set all sliders to zero and do a tight 3:1 zoom into part of the picture, here I'm using the upper right corner:

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Sharpen1-2.jpg by NathanHahn, on Flickr


When I'm shooting stars, as I did here, this is where I adjust the white balance using a method similar to David Kingham as described in this video link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=KR6xU2opfnU

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Sharpen1-3.jpg by NathanHahn, on Flickr


I then switch to B&W mode:

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Sharpen1-4.jpg by NathanHahn, on Flickr


I then adjust the Color noise slider until it smooths out like this (in this example I went to +20 with the slider):

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Sharpen1-5.jpg by NathanHahn, on Flickr

Now I adjust the Luminance noise slider until it smooths out like this (in this example I went to +30 with the slider):

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Sharpen1-6.jpg by NathanHahn, on Flickr


Now I sharpen to regain some detail (here I went to Amount 50 Radius 0.5 Detail 20. Special Note: I always use the same Radius 0.5 and Detail 20 sharpening settings with all of my E-M1 images and only vary the Amount I use with each image)

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Sharpen1-7.jpg by NathanHahn, on Flickr


Now I go back to color mode:

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Sharpen1-8.jpg by NathanHahn, on Flickr


Here is the original file with no adjustments and the completed image after doing the above and playing with the sliders for color, contrast, whites, blacks, clarity, and saturation.

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Sharpen1.jpg by NathanHahn, on Flickr

View attachment 359484NATE2191.jpg by NathanHahn, on Flickr

This might work for you and it might not, it's simply what I've been trying lately.

-Nate
 

Yohan Pamudji

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Haven't used the E-M1 for very long, but I haven't seen a significant difference in noise performance compared to the E-M5 that I've used for 2 years.

Your color noise reduction is at zero. Of course you're going to see chroma noise. Even FF cameras show chroma noise at ISO 1600 and 3200 without color noise reduction. The Lightroom default is 25, which I find does a great job of removing all those unseemly color dots.
 

mattia

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Its noticeable mostly for indoor shooting when at high ISO but I found that this issue surfaces even at ISO 1600 - 3200
Hope for some advices.
In addition to what folks have already said, adjust your expectations: both ISO 1600 and ISO 3200 are 'high ISO'. Anything above that, on current gen MFT bodies, I'd call very high ISO. I find the results with 1600 being very good, the results with 3200 more than acceptable, but you need to use appropriate processing. Noise reduction first, and selective sharpening algorithms (such as Nik's point control sharpening, or appropriate use of unsharp masks so as to avoid 'sharpening' large expanses that have no detail and would thus benefit from not being sharpened at all). As with all critical applications, RAW rather than JPG. obviously :)
 

GBarrington

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I have found that addressing Luminance noise first really helps when dealing with color noise. In my personal blog, I wrote about a technique that works well for me using ACDSee, but my past experience with Lr tells me it should work with Lr as well. Basically you desaturate the color first, then take care of the luminance noise and then re-saturate. Anything left is the color noise or the luminance noise you chose not to adress for whatever reason. I personally have found it difficult to actually tell the difference between the color and luminance noise so I am always 'hunting' for the right balance between the two. This really helps, I think. (For problem noise, I've found neither ACDSee or Lr to be adequate for this task! I cheat and have a copy of Topaz Denoise!)

http://glenbarrington.blogspot.com/2014/04/a-quick-and-easy-nr-technique.html
 

jnewell

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Haven't used the E-M1 for very long, but I haven't seen a significant difference in noise performance compared to the E-M5 that I've used for 2 years.

Your color noise reduction is at zero. Of course you're going to see chroma noise. Even FF cameras show chroma noise at ISO 1600 and 3200 without color noise reduction. The Lightroom default is 25, which I find does a great job of removing all those unseemly color dots.
Definitely differences between the EM-5 and EM-1. This web page has some interesting examples.
 

Yohan Pamudji

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Definitely differences between the EM-5 and EM-1. This web page has some interesting examples.
Yeah, I knew about the long exposure differences but didn't think it was applicable in terms of general noise performance. Thanks for the link though--very detailed and informative!

For typical handheld shutter speeds I haven't noticed any appreciable difference in high ISO between E-M5 and E-M1. I'm sure there are measurable differences since they're different sensors, but for my use I haven't hit any snags yet. Both look splotchy in Lightroom if you reduce color noise reduction to zero, but so does the 5DIII for that matter.
 

zlatko-photo

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I've been experimenting with Lightroom 5 and here's how I've been handling the noise and sharpening adjustments of my E-M1 RAW files:
....
This might work for you and it might not, it's simply what I've been trying lately.

-Nate
Excellent advice, thank you! Works very nicely. :smile:
 

tomO2013

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This only impacts low light astro-photography with extremely long exposures and high ISO. Indeed the E-M5 or EM-10 is superior in this regard.
For pretty much every other kind of photographic work the EM1 sensor is a step up. Especially in the area of noise at higher ISO's.

Here is an interesting low light real world comparison of the EM1 and some small format sensors like the A7 , DF etc...
http://www.stevehuffphoto.com/2013/11/20/midnight-crazy-comparison-high-iso-sony-a7-a7r-leica-m-and-e-m1/
Ignore the auto white balance - the EM1 got this terribly wrong here and many people 'keep warm colours' was set to on (it's supposed to be turned off for indoor shooting). Looking solely at the high ISO it came extremely close to the small format A7, DF etc... in terms of perceptive output noise. The differences were not as dramatic as people make often make out.
"These are not the droids you are looking for, move along"!


Definitely differences between the EM-5 and EM-1. This web page has some interesting examples.
 

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